A famous Okayama tourist spot constructed in 1597, it is also called the “Crow Castle” due to its striking black exterior. The castle’s stately three-layer, six-floor tower is said to imitate Warring State period hero Oda Nobunaga’s Azuchi Castle. The tower’s foundation is a scalene pentagon, a rarity in Japan. Materials related to Okayama are on display on the first to the fourth floor, and the fifth and sixth floors serve as an observatory. In the tower, you can make a traditional kind of ceramic ware called “bizenyaki,” as well as try on a kimono. Everyone from children to adults are welcome.
* The Warring States period was from 1467 to 1615. The government lost its authority, and rulers made a sea of variously sized states throughout Japan, leading to territorial wars. (Other explanations exist as well.)
Address: 2-3-1 Maru-no-uchi, Kita-ku, Okayama-shi, Okayama-ken
Access: Walk five minutes from JR Okayama Station’s East Exit (Korakuen Exit) to the Okayama Ekimae tramway stop. Get on a Higashiyama-bound train, and get off after five minutes at the Shiroshita stop. From there, it’s a ten minute walk.
Hours: 9:00-17:30 (Admission until 17:00).
Admission Fee: Adult - ¥300, Elementary/Middle School Students - ¥120. Okayama Korakuen & Okayama Castle Joint Adult Ticket - ¥560, Elementary/Middle School Students - ¥260.